After that heartbreaking Finals loss, everyone is wondering if this is the last real shot at the title for the current San Antonio Spurs team.
Honestly, it's too early to tell. Next season doesn't start until late October or early November.
But there are hints of what's to come in the future. Coach Gregg Popovich had mentioned that staying around at home gets boring for him. He mentioned that he would stop doing this if "he doesn't feel competitive by September." Popovich is 64 years old and still seems to be in good health. I'd bank on him coming back.
That is, if Tim Duncan doesn't retire. In that sad press conference of his, he didn't really say he was done. He mentioned that he's in contract for next year. Again, like I mentioned, a lot can happen between now and the fall. But I think he'll be back for one more run.
As far as Manu Ginobili goes? He only had one good Finals game and it was Game 5. Manu is also a free agent so he's a huge question mark. How much will the Spurs sign him for? Will another team swoop in for his services? More importantly, at age 35, is he done playing? Those miles add up on his legs playing with the national team, in the Olympics, in Europe, and with the Spurs.
And, of course, we know Tony Parker is coming back. He had a hell of a playoff run this year but those last two games also weighed on him.
With young guys like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Tiago Splitter (restricted free agent) all in tow, the Spurs still have a pretty good team. And with the potential of all of the Big Three coming back, why can't we call this team a championship contender? For the last few years, a lot of people have been burned by the Spurs. Media and fans have said they were too old for the last few years but they went to the Finals this year and the Conference Finals the year before. I wouldn't bet against them. The organization is A-grade from the front office to the coaching to the players. And if one piece leaves, they can easily reload with another. It's the retirement of Tim Duncan that obviously scares the team the most and that's not too far away.
But like I said, I don't think he's walking away. And with all the key pieces coming back, the rest of the NBA should watch out for the Spurs in the 2013-14 NBA season. I wouldn't bet against them getting one more shot at the title next season.
If everyone comes back, no, I don't think Thursday was their last real shot at the championship.